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Tour AL Tornado Damage 



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YOU ARE HERE: HOME ► CONFERENCE NEWS ► TOUR AL TORNADO DAMAGE 

® a H 

National UCC Staff, Conference Staff 
and Volunteers Tour Tornado Damaged 
Communities 
in Alabama 

Southeast Conference Responds 
with $3,526 in Initial Gifts 

On May 16, Tim Downs met with 

Florence Coppola, the UCC 

Executive Minister of National 

Disaster Ministries and Angie 

Wright, the coordinator of disaster 

response in Alabama to tour the 

tornado-devastated areas, and meet with FEMA staff and local UCC pastors. They 

visited areas west of Birmingham, and received briefings concerning the loss of an 

estimated 300 lives, and property damage estimated in the billions of dollars. In a visit 

to a local school which had been taken over to distribute relief items and offer case 

management and support to victims of the tornadoes, they watched volunteers 

distribute food, clothing, water and much more. 





Southeast Conference 

UNITED CHURCH of CHRIST 



UCC News 

UCC Newsroom 

Headlines from the United 
Church of Christ 

A 'Just Peace' future: Part 2 
Following the recently 
concluded World Council of 
Churches' International 
Ecumenical Peace Convocation 
held in Kingston, Jamaica, 
United Church News asked 
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite to 
reflect on the history, progress 
and potential future of the Just 
Peace movement. 




PROGRESSIVE 

RENEWAL' 



What Ministries are Available? 



Is Training Available? 





Tim Downs noted that there has been a 
response of overwhelming generosity from 
across the United Church of Christ to the 
needs of those who have suffered. The 
national church is raising a special offering 
of $250,000, and there have been special 
offering taken in churches across the 
Conference. The Conference office has 
received numerous requests to send work 
crews to assist with the relief and $3,526 to 
support the relief effort. 

Several times during the tour, we were 
reminded that following a disaster there is a 
second disaster, which is the arrival of 



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Tour AL Tornado Damage 



7/3/13 9:10 PM 




voiunieers ana trucKs Tinea witn supplies 
that are often not appropriate to the needs. 
This tends to burden the disaster relief effort 
and generate great waste. We were asked 
to remind people to response to requests 
for specific items directed to specific sites for distribution, or to encourage contributions 
of money, which can equip our relief efforts. One Great Hour of Sharing has already 
distributed $2,000 to each of the UCC churches in the affected areas to help them 
respond to the great human needs around them. 



Florence Coppola noted that the United Church of Christ responds best in providing 
work crews over a period of years following a disaster. Often the immediate responses 
overwhelm a system, and then interest fades, although the needs continue. The United 
Church of Christ will begin to organize work crews out of the national office, and we are 
beginning to work with local churches in Birmingham to help them set up to host work 
crews for periods of five days. Tim Downs remarked, "the human cost of these 
disasters is incomprehensible. One person handed me a DVD as I was touring his 
destroyed neighborhood. I watched it to see was the story of a young woman walking 
through her neighborhood which had been blown off the face of the earth, moving 
slowly from one collapsed house to the next, stopping in front of a library that had been 
destroyed, and a church which was no longer standing. 

At the end of the day, Florence, Tim, and Angie met with the area UCC pastors, 
Rodney Franklin, Gary Myers and Janet Weidler. Rodney remarked, "my people just 
want to respond. They see the suffering of their neighbors and they are anxious to 
reach out and do something. Everyone feels so helpless, but everyone wants to do 
something". Florence urged churches in the area to begin to prepare themselves to be 
able to host work groups, and to continue to collect money, and needed supplies in 
response to specific appeals. Angie urged the group to work with other coalitions of 
churches and community groups, which are beginning to organize for the long haul. 

» Link here to read more on how you may help those in need. 



We are deeply grateful for those of you 
who have contributed so generously to 
tornado relief here in the Southeast Conference. 

So far we have received $3,526 
from our local congregations which will be contributed 

to the $250,000 goal set by the 

United Church of Christ to 

be designated for tornado relief. 



n the last two weeks you have also contributed 
$4,870 to One Great hour of Sharing, 
and S1 35 to relief for those who suffer 



from the tsunami in Japan. 



The United Church of Christ joins with 

the Southeast Conference 

to thank you for your response 

to our neighbors in the hour of their greatest need. 







■ r 


CI 



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